Second edition of the “Night of Ideas” / “La Nuit des Idées” in Hong Kong New Frontiers of Architecture in Hong Kong


 The Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau and Hong Kong Design Institute are pleased to announce the second edition of the “Night of Ideas” (Original version in French: Nuit des Idées 2019).

This free and festive community-oriented event will be officially launched on January 31st at 6.30 pm at Hong Kong Design Institute.

This year, the “Night of Ideas” will explore the relationship between architecture, art and society. As a vertical city, Hong Kong strikes by its urban foolhardiness. Its iconic skyline and idiosyncratic architecture are worth attention from the rest of the world. Researchers, architects, students and architecture-lovers around the territory are invited to share their ideas and insights on the future of architecture in Hong Kong, as well as its challenges and implications in terms of artistic creations, education and social links. Participants will be free to explore the role of architecture in Hong Kong by various means of activities. A talk by the leading French architect Thomas Coldefy, who designed the Hong Kong Design

Institute (HKDI) campus building, and two round tables bringing together reputable scholars, such as Prof. Lee Ho Yin (Hong Kong University), Prof. Heng Chye Kiang (National University of Singapore), Dr Lay Lian Ong (Principal, HKDI and IVE (LWL)) and Dr Joseph Wong (Vice Principal, HKDI and IVE (LWL)),will enable all of us to explore the relationship between architecture and culture on one hand, architecture and history on the other hand. This reflection will be put in perspective by several artistic installations. A short film program curated by media art partner Videotage as well as a virtual reality corner will be both available throughout the evening.

High-profile exhibitions on architecture presented by HKDI will complete this rich programme. The “Coldefy, Architect of HKDI” exhibition (vernissage on January 31st; exhibition period: January 31st to March 13th), dedicated to narrate the conception and design story of the emblematic HKDI campus building with a showcase of visuals, sketches and models, will be inaugurated in the framework of the Night of Ideas. The other exhibition “Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec – Urban Daydreaming” (exhibition period until February 17th) will be exceptionally open until late night in echo to our discussions over architecture and urbanism. Complimentary guided tours of the exhibitions will be offered to the participants on that night.

Launched in Paris for the first time in 2016, the Night of Ideas in Hong Kong is part of a worldwide operation that aims at sharing the French culture of debate, with the support of the Institut Français of Paris.

From Seoul to Los Angeles, from Tokyo to Paris, passing through Singapore and New York... more than 180 Nights of ideas will be organised throughout 70 countries. Philosophers, writers, researchers, intellectuals, students, whistleblowers, artists and political figures will engage the public debate propose their vision of the present and their solutions to the challenges of tomorrow on issues of equality, ecology, education, urban planning, science, policy or technology.

Online live coverage and broadcast of the Hong Kong’s edition back in Paris are provided by film partner Mar Vivo Films.



Thomas Coldefy | Architect; Principal at Coldefy & Associés Achitectes Urbanistes

Thomas Coldefy earned a degree in architecture from Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris. He is a licensed architect in France and serves as Principal of Coldefy & Associates since 2006. His previous experience includes positions held at KPF Architect (New York), Ateliers Hamoutène Architectes (Paris), SCAU + Tadao Ando (Paris), Swanke, Hayden Connell Architects (London), SOM Architects (New York), HKDI (Hong Kong) and Atelier Yves Lion (Paris).

Lee Ho Yin | BA(AS) NUS; BArch NUS; PhD HKU; HKICON; AssocHKIA; HonAIA(HK)

Dr. Lee Ho Yin (“Hoyin”) is a co-founder and the longest serving Director of the Architectural Conservation Programmes. In 2015, the unit was elevated to a Division, and he became the founding Head of the Division. Before joining HKU in 2000, he was an Associate Director of an architectural practice in Hong Kong. A well-published academic and an experienced practitioner in built-heritage conservation, he has been appointed by government agencies in Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas as an advisor or a consultant for conservation projects, including the identification of Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. He is a former member of the Antiquities Advisory Board, Founding Vice-President of The Hong Kong Institute of Architectural Conservationists, Associate Member of The Hong Kong Institute of Architects, and Honorary Affiliate Member of the American Institute of Architects (Hong Kong Chapter). 

Heng Chye Kiang | PhD (UC Berkeley); Postgraduate Certificate (Tsinghua); CES Amenagement Urbain (ENTPE); DESA (Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture)

Dr Heng Chye Kiang is a longstanding Professor at the National University of Singapore, where he was formerly Dean of the School of Design and Environment (2007-16) as well as Head of the Department of Architecture prior to his deanship. Prof Heng has taught and published widely in the areas of history of Chinese cities and architecture, urban design and conservation in Asia, as well as sustainable urban planning and design.

Prof Heng has served on the boards of several government agencies in Singapore, including the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Centre for Liveable Cities, Housing and Development Board, and Building Construction Authority. His active support to CUHK has included serving as Visiting Committee Member (2012), External Examiner of MArch final reviews and PhD examinations, as well as housing and environmental technology programmes in the School of Architecture.

Supported by Institut Français

The Institut Français is in charge of implementing France’s cultural action abroad. The agency was set up by the July 27, 2010 French Foreign Cultural Action Act and its enabling decree of December 30, 2010.

Under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its role is to act as the conduit for a new, more ambitious “diplomacy of influence”, within the framework of French governmental policies and priorities. It will help to promote French influence abroad through greater dialogue with foreign cultures, while responding to the needs of France via a policy of listening, partnership and openness to other cultures. The Institut Français replaces the Culturesfrance association, with the legal status of a “Public Industrial and Commercial Undertaking”.

Working closely with France’s cultural network abroad, the Institut Français seeks to answer the needs of the country’s diplomatic missions. At the same time, however, it is promoting initiatives to pool projects more widely and achieve economies of scale. At a local level, it operates under the authority of the ambassador in the country concerned.

Co-organiser: Hong Kong Design Institute

Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) is a member of the VTC Group. HKDI was established in 2007 with the mission to be a leading provider of design education and lifelong learning, including design foundation studies, communication design and digital media, fashion and image design and architecture, interior and product design. With a view to providing professional designers for the creative industries, it promotes the “think and do” approach and encourages interdisciplinary thinking in its broad range of design programmes. HKDI maintains a strong network with the industry and provides its students with essential practical experience enriched with cultural sensitivities and sustainability. Overseas exchanges are actively arranged for students to broaden their international perspective. The campus in Tseung Kwan O provides a creative, inspiring and vibrant learning environment for students. Website: 

Film Partner: Mar Vivo Films

MAR VIVO FILMS is an award-winning production house based in China. With primary offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong, we provide full-service production of feature films, documentaries, TV shows and commercials all around China. In recent years, we have been working with Shanghai Media Group (China), Arte TV (Germany), Channel 4 (UK), TV5 Monde (France), ABC News (USA), Bravo TV (USA) etc.

Media Art Partner: VIDEOTAGE

Videotage is a leading Hong Kong-based non-profit organization specializing in the promotion, presentation, creation and preservation of new media art across all languages, shapes and forms. Founded in 1986, Videotage has evolved from an artist-run collective to an influential network, supporting creative use of media art to explore, investigate and connect with issues that are of significant social, cultural and historical value.

Special thanks: Alliance Française of Hong Kong

A self-financing, non-profit-making association run by a committee formed by local personalities. It has been dedicated to foster French language and culture in the spirit of multicultural dialogue in Hong Kong. Its four main activities are: 

1. Offering French courses for adults, teenagers and children taught by qualified native French teachers.
2. Providing services of la médiathèque, the French multimedia library and giving access to Culturethèque, the digital French Library.
3. Organizing French cultural and social events, on its own or in partnership with local and international institutions, such as the French Cinepanorama (Hong Kong French Film Festival), Le French May, the French-speaking world festival or Arts de vivre events.
4. Publishing PAROLES, a bilingual cultural magazine (French and Chinese) which is the longest running cultural magazine in Hong Kong.


For more information:
Webpage of the Night of Ideas Hong Kong:
The Night of Ideas Hong Kong Facebook event page:
Live streaming will be available: 

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